November 26, 2022

Hashimoto Contemporary is pleased to present Tracing Shadows, a solo exhibition by Boston-based artist Genevieve Cohn. The exhibition will be Cohn’s inaugural solo presentation at Hashimoto Contemporary.

Tracing Shadows tells the story of a community of women that exist in an imagined world, in which they only live for one rotation of the earth on its axis. Building on this imagined mythology, the figures depicted in the paintings attempt to record a light that will only be experienced once before it slips away. Living in a world that has this unique experience of light, the women dedicate their life attempting to better understand their world and systems that structure it. In many of the paintings, women are depicted referencing, tracing, or recording shadows. The shadow is ultimately transformed into an experience that is more solid and tangible than that of the sun, raising questions of truth vs. reality, contemplating the point where truth and reality come together and where they break apart.

Pulling from various sources, Cohn’s inspiration is rooted in the Women’s Land Army, the history and imagery of witches and witchcraft, and literary fiction. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, The Complete Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino, A Short History of the Shadow by Victor Stoichita and the short stories of Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman also shaped this body of work.

Tracing Shadows speaks to the shared experiences of groups of people, and the attempts to question, record and understand that shared experience. In this imagined universe, the women born at different times of day create shared knowledge and tradition, so that those born later in the light can begin where those before them left off, speaking to our human history of storytelling and interest in scientific experiments.

About her work, the artist states, “My paintings project possible communities of women by drawing from both a historical and imaginative past, present, and future. My paintings acknowledge and reflect a world where power is derived from collaboration, self-endowed agency and connection with the natural world. I consider ideas of collection, adornment, beauty, and choice as the figures within the worlds of my work construct spaces that engage ideas of ritual and practice.”

Stay tuned to our 8-page feature on the works of Genevieve Cohn in our Winter Quarterly.